Thursday, October 5, 2017

Brass Bands in New Orleans

 
  You are walking through the French Quarter. You're a block from Jackson Square. You hear a rumbling, and you feel a beat. It's the raucous, joyful sound of a small brass band playing on the square.
  Dressed in T-shirts and gym shoes, this band is treating the crowd to that special New Orleans rockin' sound. Look around, and you will see people dancing in the street. They can't resist!

  To see more of my New Orleans art, go to www.dianemillsap.com

Wednesday, September 20, 2017

The Frenchmen Hotel in New Orleans

     When you enter the Frenchmen Hotel in New Orleans, you enter a world of balconies and walkways which connect three historical cottages in the neighborhood of Marigny. The rooms open onto a beautiful courtyard and pool. Everything is utterly charming from original shutters and woodwork to small brick fireplaces in almost every room.
     This is a chance to experience accommodations typical for the 19th century travelers. Of course now there are updated baths and amenities.
     This hotel is on the Historic Register and is located at 417 Frenchmen Street right in the middle of the popular local music clubs.
     To see more of my New Orleans art, go to www.dianemillsap.com



Monday, August 21, 2017

Frenchmen Street Funk

The nightlife on Frenchmen Street is vibrant, sassy and pure fun!  A dozen or more music clubs, like the Spotted Cat and the Red Apple painted above, wow tourists and locals alike with the authentic and unadulterated New Orleans' brand of jazz, funk, and blues.
The icing on the cake, is when a local brass band shows up and fills the street with blasting trumpets, wailing saxes and trombones, and that infectious Big Easy beat (courtesy of a couple of drums and a booming tuba).  Everyone loves it!  PS:  Frenchmen Street is just a block out of the French Quarter.
 
To see more of New Orleans art go to:  www.dianemillsap.com
 

Tuesday, July 4, 2017

New Orleans' Uptown Homes

https://fineartamerica.com/products/uptown-in-the-moonlight-diane-millsap-canvas-print.html
What a display of architectural styles!! A walk through New Orleans' Uptown neighborhood is fascinating.  Each home is unique.  From "Raised Cottages" and a variety of fancy "Shotguns" to the stately "Double Galleries," each house tries to outdo its neighbor.  Pillars, shutters, frilly wrought iron, and intricate moldings all come together in surprising harmony. These beautiful old homes create the perfect fantasy as the warm evening breezes drift through the silvery leaves of the old oaks trees which surround them.
Purchase this print at Fine Art America: https://fineartamerica.com/products/uptown-in-the-moonlight-diane-millsap-canvas-print.html
To see more New Orleans art by Diane Millsap go to www.dianemillsap.com

Thursday, February 2, 2017

New Orleans' Beautiful Esplanade Avenue

Esplande Avenue boasts a distinctive collection of New Orleans architecture.  No two homes are alike, and each one is absolutely beautiful!
 
To stroll down this street is pure pleasure!  Each house is a jewel, with attention paid to the pillars, the wrought iron, the wood moldings and the balconies.  Built in the 1800's, they have been lovingly restored and maintained by their proud owners.
 
Esplanade is a long boulevard which runs from the edges of the French Quarter out to Degas House, and beyond to City Park.  It's a beautiful walking tour for lovers of architecture.
 
To see more of my New Orleans Art, visit:  www.dianemillsap.com

Monday, February 29, 2016

The Quiet Side of the French Quarter

 
 
 
Those of us who love New Orleans are familiar with the popular sections of the French Quarter. Bourbon street is renowned for its dazzling neon, and raucous music.  Jackson Square is alive with mule drawn carriages, artists displaying their works, and the beat of local brass bands.  However, there are the quiet, almost unbelievably quiet, residential streets, such as Burgundy Street (above).  The facades of these old houses are plain and not really inviting; but behind these shuttered doors, these homes are warm and filled with light that streams in from courtyards filled with trees and flowers.  When you leave the street and enter, it is definitely a world apart!
For more of my New Orleans art visit:  www.neworleans-art.net
 

Sunday, September 27, 2015

New Orleans' Royal Street

To me, the most beautiful street in the French Quarter is Royal Street.  The variety of architecture is amazing!  From the mellowed brick 200 year old town homes to the early Victorian wooden frame buildings, each one is a delight.  And, the balconies with their flowering vines are just icing on the cake! 
 
The shops that occupy these buildings are also a feast for the eye.  Antique shops glitter with twinkling crystal chandeliers, and dress shops entice us to enter.  (Oh, the dollars spent here!) 
 
To learn more about this painting and see more of my New Orleans art, visit:
www.neworleans-art.net

Friday, June 12, 2015

New Orleans' Jive


One of my favorite streets in the French Quarter is St. Peter Street.  This street is a jumble of all the old and fascinating architectural styles which are unique to New Orleans:  The three story townhouses, the quirky servants’ quarters with their oddly pointed roofs, and the Creole Cottages with their massive old shuttered doors.  There are also plenty of wrought iron balconies, arched carriage ways, and high connecting wooden fences with doors in them, leading where?   All are jammed up against each other.  So much going on, so compressed; and behind this facade, is a labyrinth of connected passageways, beautiful courtyards and huge glass French doors. 
And St. Peter Street jumps with activity, night or day, with every conceivable type of business:  The famed Pat O’Brien’s, the Jazz Preservation Hall, Reverend Zombie’s Voodoo Shop, The Gumbo Shop restaurant, the Krazy Korner music club, a Lucky Dog cart, and on and on…… This street rocks and jives with laughter, lights and music, and is not one to. be missed.
For more about my New Orleans art, visit:   www.neworleans-art.net

Monday, June 8, 2015

The Hours on Jackson Square - Original Oil Painting

I first fell in love with Jackson Square on an incredibly 100 degree plus day in June.  As my husband and I walked into the Square, I was amazed to see that there were throngs of tourists; and there were families… all smiling, laughing and seemingly oblivious to the heat! 

 This was their family vacation, and Jackson Square was at the hub of it all.  A local brass band in front of the St. Louis Cathedral boomed out tunes with a beat that no one could ignore.  (You gotta love what these local musicians can do with a tuba!)  A street performer, covered with metallic spray paint, enthralled the kids as he “transformed” from a construction worker into a race car.  And Art was everywhere!  Hundreds of paintings were hung from the Square’s magnificent iron fence. And the artists, just as colorful as the artwork, were all on hand to engage in conversation.

Carriages drawn by very good looking mules (in my estimation) were doing a brisk business, hauling everyone through the French Quarter; their drivers giving the unbelievably exciting history of New Orleans.   There is always something new to learn on these tours, because the history of this city is so dense and so rich.  Tales of pirates, yellow fever, ghosts, and military battles will leave one breathless.  The beginnings of New Orleans were not easy!


It was at this moment that I realized I was in the living, breathing heart of the French Quarter.  The beautiful architecture (built over the centuries by the French, Spanish, and even an enterprising 19th Century woman) is still in use as shops, museums and restaurants.  These buildings surround the square in a warm and intimate way, gently blurring the line between the past and the present, gently weaving that old New Orleans’ spell that makes us want to return again and again.
To see more of my New Orleans art, visit: www.neworleans-art.net

Friday, July 18, 2014

The Desire Streetcar - Original Oil Painting

The old "Desire Streetcar " line in New Orleans became immortalized when the playwright Tennessee Williams published his steamy play,"A Streetcar Named Desire," in 1947.  The line ran in the 1920's through the 40's.  It originated in the neighborhood of Bywater and ran through the Marigny neighborhood and the French Quarter towards Canal Street. 

There is a plan to bring this streetcar back to the French Quarter, which seems like the perfect New Orleans' answer to "Life Imitating Art."

I used a very old black & white photograph of the Desire Streetcar running down Bourbon Street as an inspiration for this painting.  (Most people remember that it ran down Royal Street, but it also ran down parts of Bourbon Street too.)

To see more of my New Orleans art, please visit www.neworleans-art.net

Friday, April 11, 2014

"Rain on St. Peter Street"

On our last trip, in early March, I experienced the true magic of New Orleans. We were out very early in the French Quarter on Mardi Gras Day. It was maybe 60 degrees and, Oh It Was Raining!  But after a few minutes, we didn't even notice.  Everyone was out, tourists and locals all calling out "Happy Mardi Gras!".  And all the greetings were truly warm, in the spirit of friendship; and it was too early in the day to be that kind of "spirits."  It was a day I will carry in my heart always.

To see more of my New Orleans Art, please visit www.neworleans-art.net.

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

"Frenchmen Street" - Original Oil Painting



 
We fist discovered Frenchmen Street in February of 2006 (the Winter after Hurricane Katrina).  At that unfortunate time, the French Quarter was still pretty deserted, and someone told us to take a short walk into the neighborhood of Marigny if we wanted to hear some good local music.
 
Our spirits were uplifted the minuted we arrived at the small three block business district!  The street was a little dark; but lights, music and laughter spilled out onto the sidewalk from crowded small clubs.  That night we became fans of Cafe Negril, Snug Harbor, The Spotted Cat, and DBA, where the music ranged from jazz, to reggae to funk.
 
Since that time, Frenchmen street is the place we go to the most, and now we're acquainted with Adolfo's Italian Creole restaurant (above the Apple Barrel) and the atmospheric Frenchmen Hotel with its cozy, lush courtyard and balcony views.  And, we've added new music clubs like the Blue Nile, and Maison to our list of favorites.  We go back time after time to see our favorite musicians, KermitRuffins and the TBC Brass Band.  I still can't get over the fact that you can hear some of the country's best music in such small intimate clubs! 
 
Frenchmen Street is a real everyday street with a grocery, a book store, a fire station, a record store, and a coffee shop, but it's also a concentrated spot of local culture will soon hit its prime.  I just hope it doesn't lose its friendly neighborhood feeling where visitors can go and experience the real New Orleans.
 
To see more of my original New Orleans art visit: 

www.neworleans-art.net






 


Tuesday, September 24, 2013

The Old Absinthe House - New Orleans

    The story of this old bar on a Bourbon Street corner is synonymous with the rich, colorful, and sometimes notorious history of the French Quarter.  One can almost feel its shady past oozing out from the rough stucco walls. 
     Starting out as an import house in 1806, it is purported to have been the location where the pirate Jean La Fitte and General Andrew Jackson hatched their plans for the 1812 Battle of New Orleans.  Later in 1815, it became a rough a tumble saloon called Aleix's Coffee House."  Then in 1874 it was the site of the invention of the strong liqueur, Absinthe.  The reputation of this drink was so infamous that it was outlawed in the United States as a drink that could lead to insanity and the ruination of all who drank it.
     Today, after careful renovation, much remains original, and it's a great step back in time to enter, look up at the old beams and sit by the the ancient fireplace with your favorite drink in hand, and drift back through time.   
To see more of my New Orleans art visit- www.neworleans-art.net

Monday, February 18, 2013

Endymion Float - Mardi Gras Painting

     A couple of weeks ago my husband and I experienced Mardi Gras family style, in the New Orleans' neighborhood of Uptown.  This was not the raucous reveling on Bourbon Street, this was the tree-line residential streets lined with mothers, fathers, children, grandparents, aunts and uncles, all there to enjoy the beautiful floats, the jazzy marching bands and to take part in tradition.
     I must admit that I am not usually a fan of parades, but the floats were absolutely breathtaking!  They were illumined against a twilight sky by hundreds of lights and by kerosene torch bearers called the "flambeaux," a custom that goes back to the very beginnings of Mardi Gras.  Everyone in the crowd was there to see a child in a band or a relative on a float, and to catch trinkets and beads which flew through the air.....all very small town in feeling, all very friendly.  Total strangers gave me theirs fanciest beads because I was not very good at catching them myself. 
     It doesn't matter that many of the stories behind all the complicated and somewhat baffling traditions may have been forgotten, what matters is that this is a time when everyone joins together in a spirit of community.
     This painting, "Endymion," was commissioned last year by Scott Colomb, a member of the (Krewe of Endymion) who taught me more about about the culture of New Orleans.
To see more of my New Orleans art visit:  www.neworleans-art.net

    

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Dream of New Orleans - Oil Painting

For some of us, we dream of New Orleans, when we are not there.  What is it about New Orleans which captures the hearts and imaginations of so many?  It is a city where we can walk among the ghosts of those earliest settlers who carved a unique culture out of an often treacherous swamp.  It is a place where despite the hardships of epidemics, fires, and floods, its people have endured and triumphed down through the centuries.  It is a modern urban center; but it is also a mystical, ethereal dream carried on a breeze, drifting out over the evening, casting a spell over those who are willing to believe.
To see more of my New Orleans art visit: www.neworleans-art.net
 
 
www.neworleans-art.net